Porsche is also a target.
Now that the sale of Lotus from Malaysia’s Proton to China’s Geely is complete, it’s time to get the legendary sports car company back on track. Fortunately, it appears Geely has the right mindset and, just as important, the willingness to spend serious money achieving its goals. Autocar has an interesting report regarding Geely boss An Cong Hui and his recent comments regarding what he wants Lotus to become.
“We are making plans; we want to bring back the heritage of Lotus to be one of the top performers in the luxury sports car segment,” he said. “Lotus used to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche, so we need to come back in that rank again.” More recently, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales announced that 2020 will be a major year for the company. This is when it’ll launch its first new-era model, which could be an SUV or even an EV. Chances are that first new model will be the Elise and/or Exige successor. Both of those sports cars, as great as they are, are built on aging platforms. Also, there’s new technologies out there that Lotus has yet to tap into.
However, Gales promised that Lotus “will always be the benchmark in light weight, aero, and handling.” Cong Hui seems to be fully onboard with that philosophy. He was keen to make a deal with Proton because he’s said to fully understand Lotus’s potential. An SUV, likely to be built on the same platform that underpins the Volvo XC40 (Volvo is also owned by Geely), would not only serve as a direct competitor to the likes of the Porsche Macan, but it’ll also hopefully be a solid money maker, further fueling sports car development. In the meantime, expect Lotus to continue releasing updated versions of its current three-model lineup, the Elise, Exige and Evora.